Zhu Li smiled to herself and set down her cup of tea on the side table before turning to face her husband, who was staring intently at the ceiling with his arms flopped on the couch's head rest.
"May I ask what prompted this sudden desire?"
He turned to her as well in reply, leaning on his knees and waving his hand rapidly in a dismissing gesture. "No no no Miss Moon, I've always wanted a Platypus Bear, ever since I was a young circus kid, travelling with those great beasts!" His pet name for her was 'Miss Moon' which she did not object to. She had no nickname for him, though. Such creativity lay in her equal half sitting across from her with a childish gleam in his eye. No, not childish. Mischievous.
"We've seen how irritable those things could be the last time we went to the zoo in Ba Sing Se. That poor zoo keeper barely escaped with his life."
"Aaaah heck, he was fine! Just a dislocated shoulder and a torn worker's uniform! He should've realized that Mr. Bill wasn't in the mood to dance that day. I could see from the rail that he was down with the flu! Zhu Li, of all people I would expect you to be sympathetic to those poor, sick animals working day and night, slaving away at the expense of their sanity by cruel taskmasters!" He laid an arm melodramatically against his brow and fell towards her, his head landing in her lap. She was startled initially but relaxed and chewed her cheek to hold back a laugh and began to run her fingers through his slick brown hair. Always the actor, he was.
Varrick turned his head from her navel to achieve a more comfortable position and sighed pleasantly as his wife massaged his scalp oh-so-deliciously. Best part was, he didn't have to ask. He should have gotten hitched a long time ago.
"What would we name it, then?"
Varrick cracked open an eye. Zhu Li was staring into the fire, smiling a little. She had a pretty chin. Also, he noticed she had a small freckle where the column of her throat met the underside of her jaw. Cute.
"Kazooey if it's a boy, Starlight if it's a girl."
"Why such odd names?"
"To better advertise the tricks I'll be teaching them! Think of it, Zhu Li! A Platypus Bear that can play the kazoo! I can see it now!"
"And Starlight?" Odd ideas. Was he just making this up as he went along, or was he serious about this inevitably doomed-to-fail endeavor? While she prided herself on being the closest person that knew the inner workings of Varrick's mind--besides the owner himself--sometimes she wondered if she really did have him down pat.
Varrick grinned and stroked one of the ends of his mustache, a determined light shining in his eye, one that stared at a scene unfolding in her face rather than what was before him. "She would be his lovely assistant, of course! The behind-the-scenes instigator and support! Playing the kazoo is no mean feat, it takes confidence, of which I will be instilling loads of it in Kazooey, but Starlight will be there for moral support once he's gotten the hang of it. Believe it or not, Platypus Bears are actually very timid at the thought of performing in front of a live, judgmental audience of children and handsome millionaires."
Her stroking of his hair paused as she thought, never mind the fact that he was now insinuating that another Platypus Bear was now being considered by her husband. "So...the name 'Starlight' referring to her purpose of illuminating Kazooey's..kazoo-playing skills?"
Varrick reached up and cupped her face to look down at him, grinning. His other hand pointed to his temple. A gem-studded ring glinted in the fire light. "Exactly, babe. Exactly."
He settled back comfortably, hands settling to lace onto his stomach. "What would I do without *my* Starlight, after all?"
Zhu Li, finding his sudden spark of zealous enthusiasm to be kindled, resumed drinking her tea in silence as she reflected.
Now that they were together, officially, there wasn't a need for him to hold her at arm's length in public; a nice change of pace, it was. It was usually when they huddled close together as they studied diagrams for a new invention or were simply lounging on a love seat staring into a fire while sipping tea, the latter scenario which was playing out right now.
Varrick in turn liked to come up with the sneakiest ways to remove her hair pins and ruffle up her tidy hair into a big bird's nest, much to her chagrin, or else kiss the knuckles of her hand in a pattern that vaguely resembled a code exclusive to certain GPS systems in the latest hover crafts they--they, together--mapped and diagrammed.
That didn't mean they walked hand-in-hand with each other in public on official business or make goo goo eyes across the room. They had a business to run after all; professionalism was a must. At least, as professional as Varrick could be while still retaining his eccentricities.
Speaking of eccentricities..
Zhu Li finally replied, though there wasn't a need to: "It doesn't sound like a very well thought-out plan, Varrick." she began "But maybe we could settle for a Platypus Bear cub first, and see where that takes us?"
She almost dropped her tea cup when Varrick reached up and tugged her face down to kiss him hard on the mouth. It was quick but sudden and full of passion, as was everything he did.
"I always love the way you think, babe." He said when he released her, now studying his nails as if nothing had happened a few seconds prior before settling his eyes on her expectantly, almost slyly.
Zhu Li had managed to hold onto the --thankfully--empty teacup, which she set down in a much safer place on the coffee table in front of her. "I'll make some calls" was all she said after straightening herself.
Varrick only purred at her in response, much like a pleased Platypus Bear would.